President tells JVP leader to act like mature politician – The Island
Udaya: we are ready to face the consequences of the revolt against the backdoor deal with Yugadanavi
By Shamindra Ferdinando
Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said that despite being a cabinet member he supported, along with National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa and Democratic Left Front (DLF) leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the petitions filed against the government forming part of an agreement with the American company New Fortress Energy regarding the Yugadanavi power plant, etc., because they firmly believed that the collective responsibility of the Cabinet should not come at the expense of the national security.
Pivithuru chief Hela Urumaya (PHU) and attorney-at-law Gammanpila stressed that they had challenged Cabinet over the controversial deal after careful consideration of what he called a politically charged situation.
The Colombo district deputy said they were ready to face the consequences of the legal measures they had resorted to. Minister Gammanpila said so in response to The Island’s question whether they could continue as Cabinet members after opposing an international deal, finalized by the government.
Gammanpila said they never tried to hide their intentions and felt embarrassed by the way some members of the government manipulated the very process that was supposed to ensure transparency and accountability.
Treasury Secretary SR Attygalle, on behalf of the government, struck a deal with New Fortress Energy, a NASDAQ-listed company, on July 7, 2021, two days after the Cabinet decision on the matter.
Gammanpila said they had tried to resolve the issue at the Cabinet level and within the government caucus. “In the end, there was no other alternative left than to denounce the New
Fortress deal and then put our weight behind those who pushed the Supreme Court against him, âMinister Gammanpila said.
The SLPP has repeatedly called that whatever the issue, voters should settle it in the government caucus and cabinet.
Minister Weerawansa told parliament on November 11 that a lawyer will represent the trio in the Supreme Court proceedings.
Responding to another question, Minister Gammanpila questioned the rationale for a company that had not been involved in the tendering process for a large-scale project involving West Coast Power Limited (WCPL). The minister said the US firm rejected the bidding process because it received assurance about the contract.
The US government has been pushing for the deal to secure 40 percent of WCPL’s stock at a cost of $ 250 million, Minister Gammanpila said.
The Cabinet memorandum regarding the sale of WCPL shares, in addition to the regasification floating storage unit, the mooring system and pipelines and the supply of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) is dated September 06, 2021, months after Sri Lanka entered into the FA deal. with New Fortress Energy.
When asked if the NFF, PHU and DLF would receive support from other parties, including the SLFP, Minister Gammanpila said those who are committed to supporting their cause remain committed and confident.
In addition to the NFF, PHU and DLF with a combined force of eight MPs, the group against the New Fortress deal included the SLFP (14 members), the CP (1 MP), Yuthukama (2 members) and Tiran Alles. More than two dozen elected and appointed SLPP members oppose the New Fortress deal.
Among the smaller constituents of the government, the MEP (Mahajana Eksath Peramuna) has distanced himself from the campaign against the energy deal.
Minister Gammanpila said that in his current capacity as Minister of Energy, he was forced to fight the energy project because it posed a threat to the country. Referring to then-president Ranasinghe Premadasa, sacking ministers Lalith Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayaka and GM Premachandra in 1991, Minister Gammanpila said the UNPers had requested intervention from the Supreme Court. The SC decided that in the event that ministers were denied the opportunity to discuss an issue in cabinet, they could do so with the public, Gammanpila said, adding that they were pursuing a strategy based on this. position of the SC.
Minister Gammanpila said Sri Lanka could not afford to create a foreign monopoly in the country’s gas supply. The situation would be much worse because the proposed monopoly would be American, Gammanpila said, noting that despite concluding a series of other deals with foreign partners under controversial circumstances, the government of the day appeared to have committed an act. unforgivable.
Minister Gammanpila said the US energy deal would deal a fatal blow to Sri Lanka’s efforts to harness gas in the Mannar Seas. The consequences of this arrangement would be far-reaching and devastating for Sri Lanka, the minister said. If the New Fortress deal was done. Sri Lanka would not be able to bring in other investors to extract the gas from the Mannar Basin, the minister said.